Today,let's check out some predator action:
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Today,let's check out some predator action:
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
And you, dear friends, are one of my specially chosen audience members... a bit of hysteria about now please (oh and don't expect pink diamonds and pearls, vegemite not a problem).
Sydney - not sure where we are going or what we are doing but come along for the ride: Day 1.
On a side note, be prepared I don't tend to plan in great detail, so each day is an adventure for me too, just the unknowing of what is to come!)
To make the most of the day when we reach Sydney and due to a three hour time difference (yes each Australian State has a different time), we are flying the first available morning flight (no grumbling now, just because it means we have a 3am start, it is worth it, no point arriving when the day is almost done) on our chosen carrier, Qantas (if anyone out there is from Qantas, I am more than happy to do sponsored Adventures and blog favourably about my experience).
Unfortunately, Captain John Travolta had an urgent family commitment, so whilst he had every intention of being our own personalised Captain on this journey, family comes first. However, he did pre-record a personal welcome message, which was waiting for us once we embarked (and of course being a safety conscious airline, emphasised the importance of watching the safety demonstration).
Our chosen accommodation for the next few nights is a 1800's wool storage / warehouse building that has been converted into funky self-contained apartments, a stone's throw from Darling Harbour.
You did remember comfortable shoes, didn't you? As the only way to really explore a city is on foot!
Maps to my brain are, well to me, just a squiggle of lines and concentrating on lines, you may miss out on so much. So as long as I have a vague idea of where we should be heading, my best method of getting to a destination is to pick someone and follow them. Not only does this get us to where we are going, but provides an interesting journey into unknown side streets, with hidden staircases, the real vibe of a city.
Our destination, this afternoon, those famous landmarks that have become known as Australia: the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Having chosen my target, an American tourist who has just left her hotel (and looks like she knows where we are going), we head off. Our first stop is Pyrmont Bridge, the perfect place to over-look the hustle and bustle of Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour is a happening place. Full of waterside restaurants and bars, shopping, departure points for various harbour tours and home to the Australian Maritime Museum, Aquarium and Wildlife Centre.
Pyrmont Bridge connects the western suburbs to the city, and how cool is this, when a marine vessel needs to get to the end of the dock, the middle section of the bridge rotates to allow the vessel through.
Next target I choose are two young Italian guys. We head towards the City centre, following the signs to the Harbour Bridge, however at one stage my inbuilt beacon, determining we are going slightly off the beaten path, into Oxford Street, so glancing at Maps on my phone I detour back on track. Sydney is a combination of the old and the new. Limestone convict built buildings, converted into trendy businesses, terrace inner-city houses with the Cosmopolitan giants of the CBD providing a glass backdrop.
Ladies and gentlemen may I present the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, dah dah.
It's not all work on my tours, we do have time, for a refreshing break, time to sit and take the scene in, watching the ferries come and go through the harbour.
Monday, January 17, 2011
So began the one hour, sexy, high cardio, low impact Smoulder and Burn class.
I had two hours to wait between work finishing and yoga class starting. If I headed home, I would have ended up on the sofa and wouldn't reappear out of the house until the next morning.
In a way this wasn't a bad option, as I had struggled to keep awake towards the end of the day, and I could just see that sofa beckoning...but then there was the other side of me, the one that argued and urged me to get out and get some long needed physical activity.
Impulsively, as my nature can be, I phoned the studio to see if there were any classes I could participate in... and just as I was justifying sofa time to myself ... I was enthusiastically told yes it wasn't too late to attend the S&B class.
A change of gear and off I headed.
Different routines: pole routines, chair routines, ab routines, hip and thigh routines to different, get-you-moving tracks. I smouldered and I burned for an hour, silently dreading the next morning, at the thought of every muscle still burning and smouldering.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I've discovered I am pretty good at this painting and decorating business. And ok, all the insinuations that "I get paint everywhere" and have never been taken up on the offer to help paint (yes I somehow managed to get covered in paint just doing the paint run to the shop and bringing it back for my sister) may have some truth to it... I'm sure my painting attire isn't too badly covered, well no worse than a professional painter's overalls (ok they paint all day every day, I paint when the mood takes).
I've discovered paint effect paint is good fun and not that hard to apply.
I've also discovered that when fixing the cracks in the ceiling, where the plaster boards have moved, you need to use flexible filler, not the normal poly filler, as you get disappointed when the cracks reappear and the time and mess spent sanding back poly filler, to have to apply correct flexible filler can drive one mental.
I've discovered that when tidying up paint job and mopping slate floor, the slate looks really great when wet... which means yes I'm going to seal the floor.
So, it was while in the process of prepping slate floor, that the vacuum dislodges a plastic covered package from behind the fire. The package had been tucked away, deep at the back, where the metal was bent to form the stand. I have a gas fire, which looks like a slow combustion wood fire, with glass front, logs and coal.
But here lay this package.
There is of course a reason for this hesitation to open the package and find out.
The previous tenant of my house is a friend. Now I know friend well enough to know he is not into drugs or trafficking, or the like, and there would be no reason for him to hide anything. However, prior to my friend getting married, he had a housemate.
His housemate was a quiet, introverted person. Not like the previous one that was accident prone and nearly managed to burn the house down. When my friend had people around for a bbq, although housemate was welcome to join us, he would often than not make himself scarce back into his bedroom or would go out.
It wasn't long after the housemate had broken up with his girlfriend that he began to act strange. One evening when my friend had a female friend over the housemate started to get quite abusive to the female friend. So my friend told him to pack his things and to leave, otherwise he would get the police involved. As a precaution my friend had the locks changed to deadlocks. Not only because of the violent tendency, it was discovered in the bedroom the housemate had used, was evidence of ritualistic type going-ons. A few weeks after this incident, the now ex-housemate murdered his ex-girlfriend. He is fortunately locked away.
So the reason for my hesitation at not opening the package straight away, and yes my mind was going a little wild as to what could be in the package, I will admit. Drugs? a knife? a left behind ritualistic type item? And what was I going to do when I found out?
Eventually, curiosity out won the initial hesitation. I slowly unwrapped the carefully wrapped item. I'm not sure whether immense relief or immense disappointment washed over me at that moment. In the package were spare pieces of fake coal for the fire place.... mmmm maybe my imagination is a bit wilder than I first thought.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Today was a mixed bag of goodies. The morning consisted of volunteering to help copy information for some research work - mind destroyingly boring. Doing the final proof and edit to a publication, so much more interesting, especially choosing the pictures and the placement of them.
At lunch time I finally booked a flight to Sydney, yipeeee. I've had to put the trip off a couple of times for various reasons, so decided why not go over during the Australia Day celebrations. So in just over a week's time I'm off for a break ... ummm now just to let the boss know, hope he agrees, sure he will, won't he?
Then in between sorting out some policies for a Manual update I decided to quickly catch up on any blog updates. And it's celebration time!!!!
To celebrate reaching 100 followers, The Weed is having a GIVEAWAY.
Excitingly it's not just one prize but two.
He is prepared to part with his much beloved (unopened) Little Thumper and a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately, as the Cheesecake Factory has still yet to make it to these shores, if I was fortunate to win I would have to decline the gift card, as I'm sure there wasn't mention of an air ticket to collect the prize (are you open to bribery Weed? If I win, the gift card is yours :)).
The motivation for winning the Little Thumper??? No, not quite the motivation that you are thinking! More my sense of humour at the thought of showing off Little Thumper, and telling the guys I work with the delightful story of how I was sent it by a man I hardly know, all the way from the US.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It's been about 3 (please tell me it's not 4!!!) weeks since I've exercised the body. Of course I blame Christmas and New Year time... too busy shopping, partying, celebrating Christmas and of course the bringing in of the new year.
Then of course the corporate side of our organisation closed for 10 days, so I didn't have my usual work exercise buddies to join after work for a few sessions.
The gym classes I enjoy were put on hold (ummm but I still could have gone to the gym and done my own thing, gosh why did I only think of that now?), pole dancing classes had finished for the year (still to resume next week), where I have moved to there really isn't any awe-inspiring-get-my-toosh-out-of-bed places to get up for a walk (wow what an excuse that is!). And then of course the determined, I AM DEFINITELY GOING TO START AGAIN NEXT WEEK, except next week arrives and .... yes you get my point.
Finally one of my friends and I got our poop together and did it. We decided enough was enough and no more excuses, so headed to one of the nearest park lands for a brisk walk around the 6km (3.7m) lake.
Yes, the sun was shining brightly and it was still hot at 5.30pm (by the time I got home at 7pm it was still 32C / 89.5F). I could feel the sweat form on my back, causing it to go itchy. The water fountain at the half way mark, while providing a much needed drink, provided only warm water.
I will admit the last 1km (.62m) the legs started to ache (to think we usually include jogging into this cycle but not tonight) and it felt like we would never reach the car park. Delusions started with visions and craving for take-away chicken and chips (I'm vegetarian... work that one out?) to ease the hunger (salad for lunch sometimes does not cut it).
At the last 500m mark we had reached the grassed picnic area and headed under the shade of trees. A lone man was on one bench overlooking the lake area (unfortunately with our lack of rain, the lake has started to dry out), playing a clarinet, picnicker's were unpacking baskets, drifts of cooked onion came from the bbq's.... and to think I could have missed being out on such a gorgeous evening, all because I procrastinated.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Life is good, actually it is brilliant and is for living.
Wow, what a fantastic way to end the weekend and start the new week, by discovering you have been bestowed an Award! I would just like to say an extremely big thank you to the gorgeous Jumble Mash for even thinking of my blog, let alone giving me this Award.
Now there are some rules to this Award, which are:
1. First thank and link back to the person that gave the Award (done, and hopefully correctly).
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the Award along to other bloggers whom you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you have chosen to let them know about the Award.
Well, lets get started...
1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy dong this? If you aren't anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?
I blog anonymously and prefer to blog this way. This is one of my other little worlds outside my real world and lets me express freely without any restraints, or possible restraints.
2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
I am a fairly laid back, easy going person. A stubborn side, who me??? Mmmm, well ok, maybe perhaps a little bit... I find sometimes when I'm told I can't or shouldn't do something, the little devil inside me appears and edges me on, that I go and do it anyway.
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Do I need to wash my hair, straighten it or put it up today? No, seriously, I don't tend to self analyse. I am happy with who I am and think life should be for living and experiencing rather than wasting time staring at myself wondering about all the what if's.
4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
At the moment, Brown Brothers' Moscato Rosa ... light, fun, sparkling and pink, served with strawberries, yummm, just perfect for summer days.
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
I enjoy de-stressing with pilates, I enjoy the challenge of learning to pole dance or attempt a mad mountain bike ride. I totally love sourcing new recipes to try on unsuspecting friends and is there any way better to start Sunday morning off than by lazily with coffee and breakfast in bed?
6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life?
There are way too many things I still want to accomplish (or at least try). Lets see, improve my photography skills, enjoy wine appreciation classes, learn to mix the perfect cocktail, hot air ballooning, become an accomplished writer (don't we all), learn more about web and graphic art design... and the list goes on.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person or always ditching?
I enjoyed school for the social aspect of being with friends. I loved learning too, so maybe at one point I may have overachieved and perhaps things were a bit too easy, but, put that together with a low boredom threshold and well... you get it.
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
There are two very poignant moments in my life: my sister and me being with Dad when he passed away; and the other looking after my niece at the hospital while waiting for my sister to deliver youngest niece and taking eldest in to see her mum and baby sister for the very first time.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in you blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?
Do you really want to know that I eat porridge for breakfast? And as I have already shared my knickers with everyone in blogsphere... what else of the true self is there to know :).
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Reading a book, in a bath full of bubbles, a glass of wine, candles, singing at the top of my voice to whatever is playing on my ipod... total, heavenly bliss.
Drum roll please, as I would like to pass on this Award to:
Mynx @ Dribble for being the impetus for my own blogging and getting me hooked.
Sandra @ Absolutely Narcissism I just love visiting her family.
While I pop off to let these people know about their Award, I thought I would just remind you who allowed me to pass it on :)
Friday, January 7, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
As a couple of my followers have ex-military backgrounds, I hope the following pics, may be of some interest (I acknowledge that it is not from the same Service they served in, but hey nothing wrong with a bit of inter-service rivalry :)).
And then a final look at the ocean before the afternoon ends, *sigh*.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Beach bag packed, the simpler the better: towel, cold icy water, dorky green hat (dorky but it coordinates with the green in my bathers), sunscreen, book - sweet ready to go.
Although it was only mid-morning families had already arrived, unpacking picnics, shade tents set up, games of cricket in progress, frisbees flying from one person to another.
I make my way down to the beach, spread my towel on the already hot sand, dispose of skirt and top, off with the glittery (still coordinating, yes I am sad like that) thongs (aka flip flops), smear sunscreen on one's pale body, hat plonked on head, lay back with book in hand. Ahh total bliss.
Total bliss about to be disturbed.
No sooner had I reached page two, than I felt a sensation on my bent leg. A crawling sensation. Book down, slowly raises top of body up onto elbow.... crap! A spider. Alright it might only have been maybe 3cm long in body length but it's still a darned spider.
Ok, I've grown up in Australia, I should be used to spiders. But HELL no, they still scare the crap out of me, and no amount of chasing me around the house with a huntsman (think of the movie Arachnophobia), in his hand, by my dad to try and de-sensitise me (that's my story I'm sticking to it, even though I am fully aware of the laughter that eminated from him while doing this as I screamed the house down) worked.
The panic is starting to rise, my mind is beginning to whirl, contrary to the calm coolness I am portraying to the outside world at this stage.
Spiders here don't live on the beach, they have no affinity with the surf, surf boards, buckets and spades. So where did this one appear? Maybe it jumped from one of the trees, in my bag, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce, while walking up from the bbq / picnic area and why on me (yes non-rationale thoughts).
Think, think, think.... no it's not working, just can't think, what if this spider is beginning to feel the panic building up in me and can sense it easing through my pores and out of it's own survival instinct it bites me? Up my thigh and over my knee it crawls.
I slowly raise my body further, without moving my leg, so I can keep an eye on it.
What if I reached for my thong and whacked it? Ok two problems: although they scare the life out of me, I don't like killing spiders, crazy I know, but it's bad luck for starters and they do serve a useful purpose (as long as they keep to their own territory and not raid mine), like getting rid of mosquitoes and flies; the second what if it survives the whack, or I miss and it bites me out of retaliation?
Likewise, if I try and just gently swish it off me with a thong, yeah right, like a spider is going to let me just swish it off, it will cling mercifully to my thong and then drop on my stomach on the return swing, I can just see it now, sinking its fangs into me.
Why did I have to pick a beach that was not notorious for life-threatening rips so did not have ab ripped, blond, speedo clad (ok speedo clad doesn't do it for me, but at this stage I need a hero, speedos or not) life savers nearby?
Then all of a sudden the spider jumps. Jumps right off, from my calf onto the sand underneath. The relief comes swelling in. My wit returns, before it has chance to head towards my other leg, or to my foot, survival tells me I need to move my legs out of this eight-legged creature's way.
Oh how dumb, um panic-stricken, am I? Spiders don't just jump, they abseil on a strand of web. How could I have forgotten that! To create a web, they release their gossamer-fine, invisible threads to the world, allowing the breeze / wind to carry it to the next closest object.
So as I bring my leg up to get it out of the spider's way, the spider rises in unison with it. Leg lowers, spider lowers, leg rises, spider rises.
Panic starts all over again.
This is not good, I'm not getting away from the spider. Then the spider starts to make its own way back up the web thread, towards my leg again. Leg lowers and rises quicker, in an attempt to shake spider off. No doesn't work. Book? Yes book, I can use book to try and dehook spider and leg. Leg lowers and rises, book sweeps back and forth underneath, between leg and spider... and no I don't really care at this stage what I am looking like to the rest of the beach, with my uncoordinated, aerobic moves. I am a survivor and I refuse to allow a spider to get the better of me (false bravado here).
Plan works, finally we are detached. My legs quickly tuck underneath me away from spider.
I watch for its next move (and direction of move). However, I think the heat from the sand takes it's toll on the spider and it crawls up into a ball and doesn't move again. Feeling slightly guilty (I really don't like killing spiders) but relieved, I lay back down again, continue reading my book and enjoy watching the sea.
Yes, no other perfect way than to start the new year off than vegging at the beach, ahhhhh.